An investigation is under way to determine how an Accrington construction worker died at a chipboard factory in Merseyside.

James Dennis Kay, 62, was working at the Sonae plant in Kirkby for Accrington-based Andrew Connolly Demolition when he suffered serious injuries.

The sub-contractor, from Heywood, was working on a designated segregated area of the site.

Paramedics, fire crews and police were called to the plant just before 11am on Saturday, August 6 but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A joint investigation has been launched by Merseyside Police and the Health and Safety Executive.

Police said a post mortem examination proved inconclusive and further tests are now being carried out.

Andrew Connolly, managing director of Andrew Connolly Demolition, said: “Unfortunately, we can confirm that there has been a fatality of one of our construction workers while we were undertaking demolition work at Sonae Industria’s plant in Kirkby.

“We are extremely saddened by this tragic incident and our deepest sympathies are with his family.

“A full investigation is now underway to establish exactly what happened in the segregated area of the plant that was under our control.”

Mr Kay, who was known as Dennis, died just months after two workers from Rossendale died at the plant.

Thomas Elmer, 27, and James Bibby, 25, both from Waterfoot, became entangled in a conveyor belt at the factory in December.

There have also been 22 reports of major accidents at the site in the last decade according to figures published by the HSE and an investigation into the deaths of Mr Elmer and Mr Bibby is still ongoing.

Mr Bibby’s mum Beverly, 51, from Waterfoot, has called for the plant to be shut down.

She  said: “I think it’s absolutely disgusting what’s happened again and I think it should be shut down.

“My heart goes out to the family of the person and I hope something is done now.”

HSE chiefs ordered Sonae, a Portuguese firm, to cease working at the plant on eight occasions between 2001 and 2003 because of safety fears.

The factory was also issued with four improvement notices.

Nigel Graham, managing director at Sonae Industria said: “We can confirm that there has been a fatality in the segregated demolition area controlled by one of our contractors at our plant in Kirkby.

“Our deepest heartfelt condolences are with Mr Kay’s family at this difficult time and our thoughts are also with his colleagues.

“We are unable to speculate exactly what has happened at this stage, however a full investigation is now underway.”